Gmail for Android gets ‘Save to Drive’ button and other new features

Gmail for Android is now updated with a couple of new features. The app now has the much needed Save to Drive button that automatically uploads the attachments to your Google Drive. The announcement comes with +Gmail on Google+.

The Save to Drive button helps you to reduce the burden of downloading the attachment to your local storage (laptop, desktop or your smartphone) before uploading to your Google Drive account.

‘Save to Drive’ button automatically sends attachments to your Drive
‘Save to Drive’ button automatically sends attachments to your Drive

Other updates in this new version include improved readability for Right-to-Left languages like Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Faster access to side navigation menu. You will now be able to access the navigation menu whenever you want to.

On the user interface part, the mail refresh bar has received the Google Now colored refresh style. And also, the app seems faster and sleeker than earlier.

The update is being rolled out to all the users. At the time of writing this post, the update was available in the Indian Google Play store.

Google is known for integrating most of it’s native apps together. There are no reports on if Google is integrating Google Hangouts with other apps or not. As of now, Hangouts stands as a separate app.

If you didn’t know, Gmail for Android is the first Android app to reach the 1 billion unique installations ever. It reached this milestone a few days back.

Google Drive has 120 Million Active users: Drive gets closely integrated with Gmail

Google has recently revealed that over 120 million users are active on Google Drive. The number is big enough for Google to introduce new features with Gmail that will allow users to save their attachments directly on Google Drive. The update is slowly being rolled out over the next week so you might not see it for a few days on your Gmail account.

By next week we should be seeing easier options to save attachments to Google Drive directly.

Save to Drive on Gmail
Gmail attachments to get closer integration to Google Drive

As seen in the image above, all your attachments could be saved on Google Drive with a single click. It will also allow users to choose the folder on Google Drive where a particular file has to be saved into.

Google Drive having 120 million users is a big deal!

Google Drive having 120 million active users might not seem a huge as Gmail probably has a lot more active users. The difference is Google Drive also encompasses Google Docs. So it means that many people have some sort of familiarity to a free online alternative to MS Office. Also with closer integration with Gmail, it means more people might be saving their MS Word and MS Excel sheets on Google Drive, something Microsoft will be not very happy about.

Source: Google Drive Blog

Bonus tips!

Automatically Manage and Save Email Attachments to Google Drive or Dropbox – MetisMe

My relatives very rarely send me emails except when they want to share photos of the family. Not everyone is comfortable with photos being uploaded and shared on Facebook or Google+. But I prefer to save my attachments on Google Drive (or Dropbox). A single click solution is available as a Chrome extension but I liked MetisMe, which automatically saves attachments from certain address to your chosen cloud service.

MetisMe
MetisMe – automatic rules to send attachments to a cloud service

As you can see in the image above, installing the MetisMe Chrome extension allows me it to sort my attachments. Most importantly I can make quick rules to send attachments from certain email ids to either Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive.

The service is still not open for public and there is still more work needed on the service. For instance, I found that it was showing me attachments from emails within my spam folder or previously deleted emails in the option called “Attachments Stack”.

If you want pre-launch access to MetisMe, you can use this link.

Try out MetisMe and drop in your comments and views.

Link: MetisMe | Chrome Extension

Schedule Sending E-mail and Reminders on Your Android

If you want to schedule email or take action on them at a later date then using Boomerang on your Chrome or Firefox browser is a great idea. I particularly use it to schedule birthday greetings to friends on my email.

But previously, this service could only be used on desktop browser with the help of add-ons and extensions. A few days ago, Boomerang launched an Android app to help users schedule emails and reminders from their phones.

The app is easy to use and it synced my Google apps account quickly. The app also was fast and not clunky like some email apps tend to be.

As this works with Gmail, it can be a big change as Boomerang does away with Gmail’s use of categories to sort out our email.

Boomerang_Android_app
Use Boomerang Android app to schedule emails and reminders

Swipe from left to right to Archive and swiping right to left shows up a host of options that includes starring the email, replying to it or using Boomerang features to schedule a reminder about the email.

The big feature is allowing reminders to be set for a email or to schedule a time for an email to be sent. This feature on free accounts is restricted to 10 messages per month but that is more than enough for someone like me who might want to schedule messages only in certain special circumstances.

Do try out Boomerang App on Android and drop in your comments.

Link: Boomerang on Android

How to Open Full Screen Compose Box in Gmail as Default

One of the most annoying changes with Gmail has to be the compose mail pop-up box, which floats at the corner of your screen. Google has included a full screen toggle button on the top of the compose box. I personally like to compose mail on a full screen rather than rolling my eyes over to the left corner of my screen every time to see whether I’m typing correctly. I also found it a bit annoying to click the full-screen toggle button every time I compose a e-mail.

Fortunately, It’s very easy to make the full screen compose as a default setting

How it works:

Compose a new mail and the usual compose box would pop-up

CheckClick on the little arrow you will find in the lower left corner of the compose box. Then choose Default to full-screen

Bingo! Now every time you compose a mail you will get a full-screen compose box. If you want the newer compose box, then simply repeat the steps again.

FullScreen

Do drop in your comments.

Download – New Updated Gmail App APK Available

Google has finally updated their app for Gmail on Google Play Store. The update brings a major redesign of Gmail on browsers and also their apps. Gmail has already started rolling out new design for browser users. The tabbed categories seem to have people excited and they show up on Android.

What is new with Gmail App for Android?

Gmail App - New redesign

  • First big change is the left side navigation bar. It slides out if on touching the top left hand corner.
  • The Navigation bar shows easy access to the categories your mail is sorted into and also the multiple Gmail accounts you have hooked up to the app.
  • It also supports swipe to refresh on the main screen. This is much better than searching for the refresh symbol that used to exist before. Overall the layout is cleaner and simpler to use.

When is Gmail app out for update?

The update was pushed through yesterday but it will takes days for everyone to get this update. It might even be months before your turn comes up.

Try looking up if the app is up for an update on the Play store. If you we can also download a APK version manually.

Get Gmail App right now

The Gmail APK is posted by Android Police and can be downloaded to get the latest layout for Gmail. Before you install the app go to Settings >> Security and select the the option to allow app installation from unknown sources.

Also check out how to enable smart labels and new Inbox on Gmail on your desktop.

Did you try out the new Gmail app on your Android phone? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Gmail App (Play Store)Gmail APK (Android Police)

How To Enable new Gmail Inbox with Smart Labels

It was just a few days back when Google officially started rolling out the new Gmail inbox with Smart Labels. The Smart Labels project has been on Google’s desk for ages and finally here it is! Smart Labels is a new technology be Google that will help you to automatically categorize your incoming mails. You can learn more about it here.

As per the official news, this new Gmail inbox will come to you in the near future. But there is a possibility that you are already welcome to this new Gmail inbox. It is a simple process that you can finish within minutes.

Enabling the new Gmail inbox

  • Log into your Gmail account.
  • Click on the gear icon at the top right of the screen.
  • If you are lucky, you’ll notice the Configure Inbox button in that menu. If you don’t find that, you’ll have to wait till Google brings this feature to you.

gmail-configure-inbox

  • On clicking the Configure Inbox button, you’ll be shown a box that introduces you to Smart Labels.

gmail-smart-labels-2

gmail-smart-labels-1

  • The box shows the four labels that you can enable if you wish. Hovering over each label will mention some of examples of the mails that will reach this label automatically. You can see that in the image below.
  • The Primary label is enabled by default and you can’t disable it.
  • Once you enable the labels that you want, click the Save button to finish. Include starred in Primary means that all the starred mails will be kept in the Primary label irrespective of their main label.

Google has brought these Smart Labels only to the Web version of Gmail for now. Gmail for Android and iOS will be getting those very soon and they’ll looking like so on your devices. Do share your thoughts on this new Gmail inbox.

Gmail gets a new Inbox experience, redesigned Android app few weeks away

There have been rumors in the past few days regarding Google releasing a totally revamped Gmail app for Android and also a new categorisation feature for Gmail web. As it turns out, the rumors are indeed true.

Gmail on desktop

Gmail can now automatically categorise the incoming mail into tabs like ‘Social’, ‘Promotion’, ‘Updates’ etc. allowing you to quickly switch between different kinds of E-mail.

Even if the categorisation is done wrong, you can always drag and drop messages into a certain category or even set a specific sender’s mails to fall into a category. You can of course totally switch off this feature and get back to old style Inbox.

Gmail for Android

For me, the most exciting thing is the new Android app, which ideally should have been released at I/O. The new Gmail app is redesigned, taking a lot of inspiration from Gmail for iPhone.

It also sticks to Android’s new design guidelines which recommend a navigation drawer.

Here’s a promo video by Google.

Both the Android and iPhone apps, along with the new Gmail Inbox (on web) will be released in the coming weeks. So stay tuned!

Gmail users in India facing sporadic service disruptions

Gmail seems to be facing downtime in India, Middle-East and South-East Asia.The service seems to be down though only for some users. I tried accessing my Gmail account but it gave me a “Error 502″ message. Google has confirmed that there is a partial outage or rather a service disruption.

Gmail_outage_india

Initially Google apps status report did not show any disruption or outage. But it shows a service disruption update that confirms the service disruption is sporadic. In some cases a refresh of the page should work on getting Gmail up and running for users.

The latest update claims the service disruption is resolved. Though I picked up some reports on Twitter that the chat feature on Gmail seemed to not be up and running.

Picking up on a bit of Twitter chatter, there seems to be an on and off issue with Gmail’s service over the past couple of days in India. Though this might not impact the casual user but as this also affects Google Apps users who use it for work, it might cause a few inconvenient Monday mornings.

Link: Gmail Service Disruption Update

Gmail’s Updated iPad/iPhone App Opens Links on Chrome

Google has been regularly updating their Gmail app for the iOS platform over the past few months. Today, it sent out another update which will fix some major issues faced by iPhone or iPad users. That is, it allows Gmail app to open links on Chrome automatically. Previously, they would open on the mobile browser which was Safari on iOS.

Mainly Apple does not allow any browser other than Safari as the default. This means all the links you open from a particular app, opens on Safari. This included Gmail previously. But now all the links open with Chrome.

Gmail App Link Chrome

Additionally the app will also open all Google Maps and YouTube links with the relevant apps if installed on your iPhone or iPad. Though Google Maps app is available only on iPhone so by default the links on an iPad will open on Chrome.

The new update also allows users to sign out form a single account if they are using multiple accounts on Gmail. This is useful as previously it would sign out from all accounts. I use 2-step verification for my Gmail account and also my work account. So that was pretty frustrating so I really appreciated it getting fixed.

Gmail app needs to be better:

Gmail app on my iPad is at best useful but it lacks many features. Some Gmail features like canned responses are not available with iPad. It also does not support creating filters. Additionally Gmail app could manage archive, deletion and labeling of emails a lot better with more multi-touch options on iPads and iPhones.

Try out the Gmail app for iOS and drop in your comments.